Carabao Cup: Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United
Tottenham suffered a shock exit from the Carabao Cup as they lost at league Two Colchester on penalties. Today, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United will be keen to avoid similar embarrassments.
Eight teams are already into the last 16. Another eight will join them this Wednesday.
Liverpool is at the leading team in the Premier League after six wins out of six.
“It’s an occasion, an opportunity to play and enjoy it and not have the pressure of necessarily being expected to win,” said MK Dons boss Paul Tisdale.
“In front of 30,000 people in your home stadium against the European champions, what can go wrong? As I’m saying it, I’m now getting nervous! Let’s just enjoy it.”
‘How do I feel about it? Excited, but I’m not overly worried about it.”
Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita could make his first appearance since the Community Shield on 4th August after recovering from a groin problem.
Manager Jurgen Klopp, was named as coach of the year at the Best FIFA Football Awards on Monday. He is expected to pick several youngsters. Included is 19-year-old striker Rhian Brewster in contention to make his debut.
The awaited fixture
Manchester United is another side to be facing third-tier opposition as Rochdale makes the short trip to Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be without Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. Mason Greenwood is fit after missing the West Ham match with tonsillitis.
Paul Pogba is expected to play some part after being out for three weeks because of an ankle injury.
Frank Lampard won the League Cup twice as a player with Chelsea and his first game in this competition as a manager is a home match against Grimsby Town who are ninth in the League Two.
Lampard took Derby into the fourth-round last season by beating Manchester United on penalties before losing against his current club in the last 16.
Chelsea went on to reach the final when goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to be substituted but lost 4-3 on penalties to Manchester City.
Grimsby is aiming to reach the fourth round for the first time since 2001-2002.
Grimsby goalkeeper James McKeown told the club website, “I do expect them to have a lot of the ball and I expect us to do a lot of defending.”
“We will have a few things we can throw at them. We have got a few tactics that I’m sure will be implemented. If we can stay in the game for the first 20 minutes then you never know.”